With numerous players unavailable for todays game, we were lucky to welcome back Kian and Ty from injury..... But we were without: Aidan - last game of suspension Antos - School trip to France Jack C - Ankle injury Jack H - ill Oliver L - Availability not updated on time Tommy - Back injury
We were pretty much all there on time and had a decent warm up... Ollie Hobden was the wearer of the pink wig as he was just behind the rushing Connor & Tyler.
Away games this season have led to close and nervy encounters v Perrywood & Burgess Hill and I knew the lads were already worried about playing a side from Division 2 and losing our unbeaten streak. Maybe it is a measure of how far we have come but we don't fear teams at home but on the road, we struggle to be as confident and do just enough to get over the line.
After a good warm up, I was confident we would give a good account of ourselves. As seems to be common practice at the moment, we had no official referee. I was asked by their manager if I wanted to ref half each and I just laughed him away. Not a chance!!! I have had my fill of reffing this season thanks!!
We looked comfortable enough as the open exchanges clearly highlighted that our best players and their best players had very little to choose between them, It would be who could handle the pressure, who would battle and who had the intensity levels to recover the ball when lost and who was willing to shoot!
After a sound start, we seemed to capitulate pretty quickly, which is really unlike us. We have been comfortable going 1-0 down this season and soaking up pressure and I was surprised that we seemed to panic, slag each other off and moan constantly from about 10 mins in to our team mates.
We conceded goals quickly but were still creating chances as their backline did not like players running at them at pace. The couple of times we did run them down, we got in behind and created chances! The problems were at the back and the top of the pitch for us today:
Harvey didn't dive until 35th minute, we had already conceded 5 by then. Distribution was not a problem but shot stopping has to be better. We will continue to work on this on Tuesday's but we have to be willing to get dirty!
At the top of the pitch, Ben, Rio and Ty need to be willing to run hard rather than taking too many touches, slowing the game down, cutting inside and trying to play delicate passes. Trust your pace and energy combined with being physical and you will get past the defenders and have chances to shoot/cross/pass.
Our trusted free kicks, which are creating us a lot of chances, were looking well delivered and with Ollie H pinging from nearly in his own half, the ball fell to Rio who used his guile and trickery to beat the CB and tuck the ball past the onrushing keeper. BACK IN THE GAME.
Unfortunately, this didn't inspire us to raise our spirit or our game. We bickered too much and I think it cost us today, Not the result necessarily but our camaraderie that we are looking to build looked diminished.
The back 4 looked good and read their lines really well and caught the opposition offside numerous times. The middle 3 have to look elsewhere on the pitch at options as the ball stays among you guys for too long.
A series of goals continues to fly in and although I know for sure it wasn't 12, I didn't count so cannot argue.
Superb goals from Connor and Tyler made the scoreline look a little close to how the balance of the match actually played out. We deserved to lose but never by 9 goals.
Ollie H got fouled and then got kicked by the same guy. Ollie swung a right hook at did catch him and the 2 teams really stuck up for each other. The focus for us as coaches (I mean sports journalist ;)) was calming the situation down. Ollie was great after the incident and we battled hard from that point on.
Funny how it takes a dramatic incident to inspire a team but we cannot keep finding ourselves in those situations lads. That would have been a straight red if we had proper ref and we would have had our 2nd suspension of the season!
Keep your chins up lads, we go again on Tuesday to prepare ourselves for another coastal away day down in Peacehaven - FUCKING MILES AWAY :)